Gospel: Mt 5:20-26
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘If your virtue goes no deeper than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.
‘You have learnt how it was said to our ancestors: You must not kill, and if anyone does kill he must answer for it before the court. But I say this to you: anyone who is angry with his brother will answer for it before the court; if a man calls his brother “Fool” he will answer for it before the Sanhedrin, and if a man calls him “Renegade” he will answer for it in hell fire. So then, if you are bringing your offering to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, go and be reconciled with your brother first, and then come back and present your offering. Come to terms with your opponent in good time while you are still on the way to the court with him, or he may hand you over to the judge and the judge to the officer, and you will be thrown into prison. I tell you solemnly, you will not get out till you have paid the last penny.’
Jesus does not mean to threaten us with the fear of hell fire. Quite the reverse, He is pointing out the way to eternal life, reiterating that our relationship with Him must ultimately show up in our relationship with others. Jesus does not want our empty worship but that we be as Saint Francis of Assisi prayed – ‘Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon’. It is a meekness the world considers as stupidity but with which Jesus embraced the Cross which reconciled Man to God. He will grant us the graces we need for this difficult mission.
Are there relationships in your life that require you to let go of your emotions and initiate reconciliation?